EPL

James pens long-term Chelsea extension

By Sports Desk January 16, 2020

Reece James has signed a new contract at Chelsea to remain at Stamford Bridge until 2025, the Premier League club have confirmed.

James has enjoyed a breakthrough season with his boyhood club this term, following a successful 2018-19 on loan at Wigan Athletic in the Championship.

The 20-year-old has made 18 appearances across all competitions for Frank Lampard's side – scoring on his debut against Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup and in the thrilling 4-4 Champions League draw at home to Ajax.

A fixture at right-back over recent weeks, James' reward for his impressive development is a new five-and-a-half-year deal.

"It has been my dream to be here at Chelsea and play week in week out and to have a contract for another five-and-a-half years is living the dream again," he told the club's official website.

"I have always wanted to be here and another five-and-a-half years means a lot to me and a lot to my family."

Lampard and his assistant, former Chelsea youth-team coach Jody Morris, have given the club's homegrown players a chance to shine this term, with impressive results.

Tammy Abraham is now their first-choice striker, boasting 15 goals in all competitions.

Like Abraham, centre-back Fikayo Tomori and midfielder Mason Mount have been called into Gareth Southgate's England set-up.

Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi already made that leap last season and scored his first Premier League goal in last weekend's 3-0 win over Burnley following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles.

James similarly negotiated his way back from an ankle lay-off with success.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "The smooth way Reece has fitted into the team so quickly despite missing the start of the season has been clear for everyone to see, and the fact another exciting young player is part of the future of the club is a result of great work by our academy, our loans department, our new coaching staff and of course the player himself."

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